In less than fifteen minutes Shane Carden exploited and annihilated what many thought was a solid secondary making them look feeble. The opportunity presented itself to solidify for Hokie Nation that Virginia Tech football was back on track with a solid game. What we witnessed was the consistent historical theme of a 180 degree turn we've come to see in four out of five games after a top 10 win followed up with a traditional loss. We weren't flat, tired, ill-prepared or otherwise. What we were was flat out beaten Black & Purple for much of the game. I'm surprised the ECU offense wasn't able to add 14 more points before half as they had the opportunity to keep their cleats on our necks.
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>Signature win for <a href="https://twitter.com/ECUPiratesFB">@ECUPiratesFB</a>! <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/ECU?src=hash">#ECU</a> beats No. 17 Virginia Tech in Blacksburg <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/AmericanRising?src=hash">#AmericanRising</a> <a href="http://t.co/mlFMSkrUzr">pic.twitter.com/mlFMSkrUzr</a></p>— American Football (@American_FB) <a href="https://twitter.com/American_FB/status/510881069458272256">September 13, 2014</a></blockquote>
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Now, for what many of you are waiting to read...let this sap Eat Crow! Gladly! No problem, I'm a big boy and damn right you flat out earned it! The Rivalry I blasted the ECU faithful is still that—NOT a rivalry. I'm not backing down from Tier II school either. A team that smacks tOSU in the mouth has no business losing to ECU. The Pirates had something to say about that and we didn't answer the bell enough times to earn the right to win. And yes, we ARE STILL tired of playing schools in what's now called Group of 5 (yes AAC not C-USA, my assistant was fired for that). Thanks to our former AD we have Old Dominion to look forward to for years. I say, WIN STATE, come on, join ACC. Hell you'd be leading the Coastal Division!
The passion of ECU Pirate Nation today IS what Hokie Passion was in the 90's. What I, and many other Maroon and Orange faithful had hoped for was non existent—a classic beat down on our turf where "their feet should burn...not being worthy to play on" was a monumental reversal of fortune to our dismay and disappointment. Tail between my legs? Hell No. Frustrated? Sure as hell yeah! No different than the 73 dressed on the field and 66-plus thousand in Military Appreciation White Out gear. Dadgumit, there comes a time when you have to stick your foot up the tails of your players to keep them angry and hungry enough when the game gets tight—to do whatever it takes to get it done no matter the odds. They fought hard and strong, never backed down, never gave up, never quit—just like we did in Columbus and just like ECU did today...play violently with reckless abandon, controlled aggression, fire and passion is what this collision sport is on the field.
What was to be a defining moment for the renewal of Va Tech's football program's return to relevancy and the opportunity for the players to witness on their own that they are back on track has reverted back to images of the past two years of mediocrity. Play one good game and then just play the next game poorly for whatever reason. I don't subscribe to the "we dug ourselves a hole in the first quarter" either. There comes a point in every game that you believe and rely on your teammates to execute and do their damn job. The Pirates did exactly that...believed in their work, their effort and the guy next to them to get it done. We got smacked in the mouth good'n hard, laid out on the deck of the Jolly Roger with a "...whatcha lookin' at..." from an 11-man army from Greenville that kept coming for more. The fire, the passion and the intensity was dressed in Black & Purple and not from the ones in Maroon & Orange.
In true military fashion, being able to adapt, to improvise and overcome is what you expect from the Lunch Pail Defense. We didn't execute up front to get the same push and fear we generated in the Shoe. We sure as hell didn't have good eye discipline in the back end—not pointing fingers, but holy hell tape don't lie. Our boys fought through it in the 2nd, 3rd quarters and damn near all of the fourth...I know this because ALL of ECU faithful stopped blowing up my twitter for 48 minutes and 10 seconds of game time. ALL of us watching the game were on the edge of our seats coming into the end of the game thinking the victory could go either way at any time. Who's going to flinch first? Clutch repeated his 1st quarter dominance in 3 plays and 65 yards. Quite fitting Shane running it in for the win—truly heroic and well deserved after four tries.
Believing the Old Ball Coach's saying after today's beat down, ECU is the best B1G team out there. We aren't rivals. There's turkey legs on the bus headed to Pitt County! Hey, thanks for reading...